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Unconditionally means without conditions or limits. It can also be expressed, ‘God loves me just the way I am.’ We would be mistaken in the extreme if we thought God’s love for his servants had no conditions, is without conditions, and there is no limit of wrongdoing on our part that cannot end in our losing that love. First, think, we have the unforgivable sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So, the idea that God’s love is without limits is contrary to Scripture. Second, the book of Hebrews tells us, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put him to public shame.” (Heb. 6:4-6) And it goes on to say. “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the accurate knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” (Heb. 10:26)
Third, Jesus tells us explicitly, “Just as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you; remain in my love.” (John 15:9) In other words, the request to “remain in” means that one can choose not to “remain in.” Then, in the very next verse, Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” (John 15:10) So, there is a condition to remaining in Jesus’ love. In the same Gospel, Jesus gives us another condition, “If you remain in my word, you are truly my disciples.” (John 8:31) The Bible is filled with conditions to remain in God’s love. Fourth, neither conditional love nor unconditional love is found in the Bible. However, God’s love is often described as coming with conditions, even clear back to the tree in the Garden of Eden, where they were commanded to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (condition). After being expelled from the Garden of Eden down until Christ, God required an animal sacrifice to remain in an approved standing (condition). From the moment of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice until now, the forgiveness of sin is conditional on the atonement of Jesus. So, technically speaking, God does not love us unconditionally. Search as long as you want, but you will not find one instance from the Bible where God’s love is unconditional.
Defining Conditional and Unconditional Love
Some scholars think they understand: Some argue that if we say God’s love is conditional love; then, it is “earned” based on certain conditions that his servants would have to meet. At the same time, they say unconditional love is given willingly and totally without any expectation in return. They say God loving conditionally means He loves His servants only if they deserve the love. On the other hand, God loving unconditionally means to love regardless of the servant of God being unworthy of love. This way of thinking, usually by Calvinist-minded scholars, is misleading and so contrary to the Scriptures. Everyone is a sinner and heading for eternal destruction, unless (condition), he repents, believes, follows, and obeys. If God unconditionally loves everyone, then everyone would receive eternal life. At Genesis 6:3, God gave humans one hundred and twenty years to repent, a condition, wherein only one family did so. According to the Bible as a whole, all of humanity as a whole, billions, conditionally must repent, believe, trust in Jesus, and do the will of the Father. Jesus said, conditionally, only those doing the will of the Father will get into the kingdom. He said some would believe that they were doing so, but were, in fact, doling their will, and he would declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23) Humans were created in the image of God (Hen. 1:27), and no human loves unconditionally.
Nevertheless, the phrase “unconditional love” can be used in a special sense that should be qualified every time this phrase is used. It can be used to make it known that God’s love for His servants is not so weak, delicate, or frail, or flimsy, that it might be removed at any time because of some failing on the person’s part or that the servant of God is obligated to earn God’s love by never falling short of His expectations. The Bible says that we must willingly choose God; well, then, choosing is the condition.
Those who believe that God’s love is unconditional and that He loves His servants regardless of what they do or fail to do are not biblically grounded. Yes, God’s greatest attribute is love, which moved Him to give his Son as a ransom on our behalf of all who accept it. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8) Yes, we must (condition) love and obey God. In fact, it is our complete and unconditional obedience that is expected. (Deut. 12:32)